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Wild Babies

Ground Nesters

Safe Handling

Bird feathers are very delicate and the natural oils on humans hands can strip them of their weatherproofing. Avoid handling and wear gloves.

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Nightjars such as Whip-poor-will and Nighthawk are nocturnal and nest on the ground without nesting material. Shorebirds such as the Piping Plover and Killdeer nest in conspicuous open areas and rely on camouflage to stay hidden from predators.


Some ground nesting birds (Killdeer do this commonly) have developed interesting behaviours to protect their young. When approached by predators the attending parent will run from the nest, dragging one wing along the ground to distract from the nest site. Before assuming it’s injured, back away and monitor from a distance to see if the bird pulls its wing back to a normal position.

What you are witnessing may be perfectly normal behaviour. Look For:

  • Weakness or unconsciousness
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Discharge from the ears, eyes or nose
  • Large patches of missing/damaged feathers, fur or shell
  • Foreign objects stuck to or wrapped around the body
  • A deceased parent or siblings nearby
  • Bleeding
  • Open wounds
  • Fly eggs or maggots
  • Cat attack - even without visible or obvious wounds
  • Broken, injured or missing limbs – hindered movement
  • Non-stop shivering or crying

If you see any of these signs, the animal needs immediate help

As a volunteer powered charitable organization, we do not have the means or resources for pick ups or field rescues. We must rely on finders bringing animals in need of care to our facility.

Please do not bring animals to the centre without first confirming an intake time with a wildlife volunteer.